Farmers urged to plan ahead for summer
WITH drought gripping the region and bushfires impacting farmers on the North Coast, it is more important than ever to be planning ahead for the summer months.
North Coast Local Land Services said with only a few weeks to go until local saleyards and processors wind down for the end of year break, producers across region must consider how they are going to feed and manage water supplies for their livestock over summer.
North Coast Local Land Services general manager Louise Orr said the entire region is drought impacted, with close to 83 per cent of the region now classified as being in intense drought.
"While many producers have made the difficult choice to de-stock, we know there are still lots of landholders trying to hang onto their stock, despite issues with feed and water availability," she said.
"We are urging producers to make realistic feed and water budgets and honestly consider their options."
Senior land services officer Nathan Jennings said as temperatures increase water requirements of stock also increase.
"It is crucial that producers take time to consider the workload as well as the emotional and financial costs of ongoing feeding and what other options there might be," Mr Jennings said.
He said to make things even harder for producers, supplementary feed remains expensive and difficult to source due to the widespread drought.
"In some cases the best option is to look to further reduce stock numbers," he said.
Mr Jennings said with Christmas rapidly approaching, closing dates of saleyards and processing facilities "need to be considered".
"Due to current seasonal conditions many processors are already booked up into the New Year and there may be a wait to get cattle in, but please contact your processor to discuss your individual circumstances," he said.
"If you are purchasing stock feed make sure you speak with your local feed supplier now to source quality feed."
Across the North Coast, a number of saleyard facilities will be closed over the Christmas period, including:
Lismore: Last sale will be held Tuesday December 10, reopening Tuesday January 7
Casino: Last sale will be held Wednesday December 18 reopening Wednesday January 8
Grafton: Last sale will be held Thursday December 12, reopening Tuesday January 7
Kempsey: Last sale will be Saturday December 14, reopening Saturday January 4
Note for producers:
•North Coast Local Land Services is offering free feed testing, which helps producers be confident purchased fodder will meet the nutritional requirements of their stock.
•Drought support has changed in NSW, and landholders are encouraged to visit the DPI Droughthub at www.droughthub.nsw.gov.au for information on the services and support available during drought conditions.
•Eligible farmers and small business on the North Coast that were hit by the recent NSW bushfires can now access recovery grants of up to $15,000. To apply for a bushfire recovery grant, primary producers and small businesses should contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit https://www.raa.nsw.gov.au/
•If you need advice to help you make decisions about whether to feed or sell your livestock please contact one the local land service's agricultural advice staff on 1300 795 299.